By Ko Dong-hwan
Many “room salons” ― a Korean term to describe bars with private rooms for hostesses to entertain customers, and often fronts for prostitution ― are continuing to operate secretly from motels these days to avoid COVID-19 distancing measures, according to police and a media report, Sunday.
The Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency said it searched one such establishment in Suwon’s Ingye area April 30. In a room there, were two men and two women with a table full of liquor bottles and side dishes such as fruits and snacks, according to the Chosun Ilbo, a daily newspaper.
After officers broke into the room, the people inside yelled at them and claimed that they were “just couples having fun,” the report said.
But documents found in the room showed clues about the true nature of their relationships ― a list of room numbers and whiskey names among other information.
Police said the entire floor of the motel was catering to such customers ― who would have visited “room salons” if they weren’t ordered closed by the government due to risk of spreading the coronavirus infection.
This was part of the sweeping crackdown on “motel salons” by 250 police officers across the southern Gyeonggi provincial region. Police said 210 people, including business owners, employees and customers from 28 venues, were busted during the crackdown and are now being questioned for allegedly violating social distancing measures.